Child Abuse in Hospitals

When you are ill in hospital, you put your trust in skilled professionals who are dedicated to your welfare.

Unfortunately, a small minority of people who have a duty of care towards us, breach this trust when we are at our most vulnerable.

If you are a victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse by a doctor, consultant, therapist, nurse or other hospital worker, you could be entitled to compensation. Making a compensation claim from the assault and abuse can help you obtain justice as well as the long-term specialist health resources to help you in your recovery from the effects of the abuse.

If you want to enquire about claiming compensation for abuse or mistreatment while under the care of a health professional, please contact our sensitive and caring solicitors today. We offer a no win, no fee agreement so there is no financial risk to you if you are not successful. Discuss your case or to make an appointment please contact us on 0333 123 9099. Alternatively please email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or complete our online form.

We know, from experience, that paedophiles and those that assault adults often rely upon and use their authority, status and position of power to take advantage of those in a position of weakness. This most notably applies in a patient and health professional relationship where the patient is reliant upon advice they receive from that individual. It is at that point, when they are most ill or in need, that they are most vulnerable to exploitation.

Quite rightly, patients take at face value and do not challenge those with medical knowledge-they absolutely rely on what they hear. They do not consider, for one minute, that they are being taken advantage of. Therefore, arguably, breach of trust in these circumstances is the greatest violation. As a consequence is not uncommon for patients, who have been abused or assaulted by health professionals, to lose trust in all health professionals and others, in any capacity, who hold a position of power and authority.

Consequently, it is important that those who abuse their position are brought to account, both in terms of criminal proceedings and making compensation, either themselves or through their employers, to the survivors of abuse and assaults.

Sexual abuse of children in hospitals and other health care institutions

Despite more robust safeguarding procedures, abuse of vulnerable adults and children still goes on in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Convictions include that of Myles Bradbury, a paediatric haematologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, who admitted 25 sexual offences against boys aged between eight and 17, committed between 2009 and 2013.

Emotional and physical abuse of children in hospital

It is rare, but from time to time tragic examples come to light of the very worst breaches of trust. In 1993 Beverley Allitt, a state enrolled nurse, was convicted of murdering four children, attempting to murder three other children, and causing grievous bodily harm to a further six children under her care, all during a period of two months in 1991. The youngest of her victims was only seven weeks old. She was given 13 life sentences and is now detained in a secure hospital.

In 2000, the United Kingdom’s most prolific serial killer, GP Harold Shipman, was convicted of 15 murders, which he had committed by administering overdoses of diamorphine. A subsequent enquiry found that he was responsible for the deaths of 218 patients, but is believed to have killed up to 250 people between 1971 and 1998, when he was caught.

Another example of a GP abusing his position of trust, is that of Dr Robert Wells. In 2017 he was jailed for abusing children, in the 1980s, as their parents were told to wait outside his consulting room. At the time of conviction in 2017 he was already serving a jail sentence, Following a conviction in 2004 for further counts of child sexual abuse, including rape, indecent assault and making an indecent image of a young girl. He was also found guilty of drugging and indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl and administering drugs to her five-year-old sister.   One victim of Robert Wells said the abuse had affected her ability to form relationships and caused her to suffer from depression. Another survivor of the abuse described the ordeal as “terrifying” and said she had developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2017 a world renowned heart surgeon was spared jail having molested two women. The judge said it may be in the public interest for him to operate again. Mohammed Amrani was found guilty of twice groping a woman’s breasts through her clothes at the Harefield Hospital  in West London, between 2003 and 2004. A decade later, in 2014, he smacked another woman’s bottom, at the Cromwell Hospital, Kensington, London.

Another GP, Jaswant Rathore, 60, was jailed for 12 years in 2018 having sexually assaulted female patients. Jaswant Rathore was the primary care lead for the Dudley clinical commissioning group.   Following a seven-week hearing he was convicted of eight charges of sexual assault and two counts of assault by penetration, over a period of 2 ½ years. He was able to carry out such assaults by pretending his actions were necessary. A seven-week trial was necessary because Jaswant Rathore pleaded not guilty. In addition to being found guilty and sentenced to prison he was also suspended by the General Medical Council.

In 2017 consultant surgeon Ian Paterson was jailed for 15 years.  The breast surgeon carried out needless operations to hundreds of patients. He carried out operations for no medically justified reason. Like Myles Bradbury he appears to have traded on his status, to take advantage of people who were particularly vulnerable. They had a kind of “star” status, put on a pedestal. They got close to patients and families to achieve their objectives. These cases demonstrate a need to be wary and, if necessary, be suspicious of actions where they seem inappropriate in the context of the advice, care or treatment.

Another health professional, Dr Michael Boylan, a medical researcher at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, was jailed for two years after downloading over 1000 child abuse images to his office computer.

If you or your child have been abused or mistreated in a hospital or healthcare facility

If you have been abused by a GP, nurse, consultant, or other health professional, contact our lawyers today. Our team of specialist qualified abuse lawyers can provide help and advice, seeking to help you beyond the law. Our personal injury specialists take a compassionate and caring approach to all claims for abuse, acting to children and adults.

Nothing can make up for the breach of trust and violation that occurs when a person, in a  position of power, abuses their relationship.  However, in appropriate cases, those who abuse their power may be held to account in the criminal courts.  Furthermore, and importantly for the victim, it may be possible to claim monetary compensation, to reflect the nature of the assault or abuse, the harm caused at the time and subsequently, as well as any financial losses arising from the harm. It may be that as a result of the abuse or assault it has been necessary to take time out from work, with a resultant loss of income. Loss of earnings can be claimed from the abuser or their employer, if the abuser was acting in the course of their employment. Additionally, if specialist mental health support is required, then it may be possible to claim the cost of that to maximise recovery. It may be possible to claim other financial losses and expenses too.

Contact us today

To discuss your case or to make an appointment please contact us on 0333 123 9099. Alternatively please email us at enquiries@ibbclaims.co.uk or complete our online form.